The Cognition of Belief

“The Cognition of Belief” conference will convene leading scholars on religious cognition and feature scientific research demonstrating the embeddedness of religious belief in basic elements of human cognition, which are common to human beings across cultures and faiths. This meeting is the capstone convening of a larger project on religious cognition in the United States and Afghanistan, led by a Georgetown University research team and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

The conference will be hosted by Georgetown University on June 2nd, 2017 at the Healey Family Student Center. 

 Registration: Registration will be free this year. However to have an accurate head count, we ask that you quickly register for the meeting by following this link.

Conference Program (tentative)

8:15 – 9:00 a.m.: Catered breakfast


9:00 – 9:10 a.m.: Opening Remarks


9:15 – 10:45 a.m.: Symposium 1- Cognitive Insights into Mechanisms of Belief

Dr. Neil Van Leeuwen, Georgia State University

Dr. Will Gervais, University of Kentucky

Dr. Miguel Farias, Coventry University

Dr. Adam Green, Georgetown University

10:45 – 11: 10 a.m.: Coffee break

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Symposium 2: Implications for Religious Freedom and Understanding Across Cultures

Dr. Jonathan Jong, University of Oxford

Dr. Kelly Clark, Grand Valley State University

Dr. Fern Elsdon-Baker, Newman University

Dr. Fathali Moghaddam, Georgetown University

12:50 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.: Poster session with catered lunch

3:10 – 3:20 p.m.: Presentation: Cross-cultural Research on the Cognition of Belief in the United States and Muslim Nations: Ongoing Work, Challenges, and Opportunities

Dr. Zach Warren, The Asia Foundation

3:30 – 3:55 p.m.: Address: Priority Questions for Advancing Inquiry into the Cognition of Belief

Dr. Nicholas Gibson, The John Templeton Foundation

4:00 – 4:55 p.m.: Keynote Address

Dr. Jordan Grafman, Northwestern University

5:00 – 5:10 p.m.: Closing Remarks

Please contact Ms. Nhi Dinh at with any questions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.